Why not create your own applications?

There are many resources to create applications for Linux

Although the repositories of the most popular Linux distributions are full of programs for all needs and tastes, it is possible that we will not find what we are looking for. So why not create our own applications?

In this post we are going to list some of the publicly available resources that can help you do this.

Why not create your own applications?

The first thing I need to clarify is that I am talking about applications for personal use. It doesn't matter that to do them you don't follow the established methodologies for software development or that your code doesn't have professional quality. It is enough that they solve your needs.

Some reasons to create your own applications

  • Respond to specific needs: A small business needed software to track its sales. All open source management programs far exceeded their needs and the configuration was too complex. The owner, with the help of Internet tutorials, wrote an application in Python that saves the data in a database that can be exported to an Excel spreadsheet for more complex analysis.
  • Delete what you don't need: Let's be honest, almost none of us use all the functions included in the programs we regularly use. In fact, in complex applications like Gimp or LibreOffice we probably don't even know they exist. However, they take up disk space.
  • Gain time:  The more complex a program is and the more elaborate its interface, the longer it takes us to do what we need. A program with a simple interface with just the right options will make us more productive.
  • Better understand the task: In order to create the application we need to clearly understand what steps you must take to fulfill it.
  • Gain new knowledge and skills: Even if you don't end up dedicating yourself to programming professionally, the basics you acquire will improve your logical thinking and writing skills.
  • Share with the community: Even if your code is not professionally perfect, it can always be useful to other people with needs similar to yours. It can also form the basis for professional programmers to create new applications that are added to the repositories.

Resources to learn how to create your own applications

Ubuntu, like the rest of the Linux distributions, supports all open source programming languages. As this is an introductory article, we are going to focus on only one of them: Python.

Although we will try to provide resources in Spanish, some unfortunately are only available in English.

  • Python tutorial in Spanish: Documentation official Python, a programming language that can be used for both simple applications and complex software that manages large amounts of data.
  • Python resource collection: GitHub repository with links to courses and books in English and Spanish.
  • Video course for beginners: The FreeCodeCamp platform offers this course Complete introductory in Spanish.
  • GNOME Development Portal: Site with tutorials and documentation for creating applications for the GNOME desktop on which the Ubuntu desktop is based. It is in English.
  • KDE Frameworks Development Portal: Portal with everything you need to create applications for the KDE desktop.
  • Phind: Although AI tools fail to produce professional-quality code, the free version of this tool can help you with tips on finding code examples and give you tips on how to write your own and spot potential errors.

Installing Python on Ubuntu

In principle, Ubuntu includes in the repositories all the necessary tools to program using the Python programming language. We just need to write the following command:
sudo apt install python3-full
If a program requires us to install additional libraries, we can install them from the repositories so that other programs can use them or install them for a specific program. For this we do the following:
1) We install the Pip package manager.
sudo apt install python3-pip
2) We create a virtual environment in which we will save the application.
python3 -m venv titulo
3) We launch it with:
source titulo/bin/activate
4) We install the additional packages with
pip3 install nombre_paquete_adicional
Now we can write and run the pyton program saved in the virtual environment folder. You will have to repeat the step every time you want to do it.

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